You've Been Lied To About Carrots Your Whole Life Because Of Nazis

You've Been Lied to About Carrots Your Whole Life Because of Nazis

You've probably heard the myth that eating lots of carrots will magically improve your vision. The bad news is that it's a total lie. The good news? It's one that helped the Allies defeat the Nazis.

Here's the truth: Carrots are rich in beta carotene (Vitamin A), and thus eating lots of carrots helps promote good eye health. That's a different thing entirely from vision; pumping yourself full of Vitamin A doesn't bring you any closer to 20/20 than doing pushups all day would.

So why do we think carrots help us see better? Smithsonian Magazine reports the theory of John Stolarczyk, curator of the World Carrot Museum (Yes! It exists). According to Stolarczyk, the myth began during World War II, when the Nazis were bombing the bejeezus out of London at night. Then, seemingly out of no where, the British Royal Air Force started shooting down more Nazi planes. How did they do it? With the help of a new radar that the RAF, of course, did not want anybody to know about. Smithsonian explains:

The Royal Air Force were able to repel the German fighters in part because of the development of a new, secret radar technology. The on-board Airborne Interception Radar (AI), first used by the RAF in 1939, had the ability to pinpoint enemy bombers before they reached the English Channel. But to keep that under wraps, according to Stolarczyk's research pulled from the files of the Imperial War Museum, the Mass Observation Archive, and the UK National Archives, the Ministry provided another reason for their success: carrots.

When the papers asked how pilots where shooting down planes in the dark, the RAF simply responded that pilots had been hitting their root veggies hard. A bold-faced lie! But one that helped save London — and the world — from Nazi tyranny. [Smithsonian]


Comments

    I sick of this website and its anti-nazi bias. Its always the Nazi's fault isn't it!

    This is one of my favourite random facts... In other Nazi-related trivia, Fanta was created so that Coca Cola could sell soda to both sides during the war without looking like traitors.

    Last edited 14/08/13 9:54 am

      http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/fanta.asp

      Not really but nice try.

        You realise that he's not trying to convince you that this Coke/Fanta story is true right?

          Indeed... That's the mythical re-telling version (though the truth is almost as amazing...)

      the fascinating bit is that the dude left to run coca cola was isolated from head office for like 4 years
      when the war ended, he gave all the profits earned throughtout the years back to coke.

      company loyalty lol

    this is old news it was propaganda by the british to try and hide the use of radar
    clever but not really lied to all my life

    What about IBM, punch cards and the final solution.

      That was true though right?

        Yes, just thought it was a more important event.

    Well actually.....beta-carotene is vitamin A, and in the retina (of the eye) beta-carotene is used to produce Rentinol, which ultimately ends up functioning as a cofactor (in the form of retinal) for the light sensing molecule known as visual purple (rhodopsin).

    If your dietary intake of beta-carotene/vitamin A is already sufficient then eating extra carrots should provide no improvement to eye-sight, however if your dietary intake is insufficient then eating more carrots could indeed improve your eye sight, particularly ones low light vision, which is dependent upon rod cells.

    Malnutrition is/was certainly something experienced by soldiers during war time, but if you are malnourished to the point that your vision is deteriorating, well you have bigger issues to worry about, such a death :(

    The term is 'bald-faced lie', not 'bold-faced lie'. Don't use expressions unless you actually understand them.

    It was not a lie!

    For the record carrots CAN help you see better in the dark, despite this blog attempting to dispel the myth, in error.

    Carrots are good for your eye health (not eyesight) and one area is a cure for night blindness! if you are otherwise deficient in Vitamin A.

    Night blindness (nyctalopia) is the inability to see well at night or in poor light. It is not a disorder in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying disorder or problem. It can have several causes and Vitamin A deficiency is one of them. It is rare in Western society, that does not mean it does not exist. The consumption of carrots in such circumstances will help cure the symptom and help the sufferer see better in the dark.

    Can I suggest you visit the World Carrot Museum for the correct and comprehensive story.

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